Commentary: No Longer ‘Democrats’

Democrats No Longer

In the old days, Democrats had predictable agendas, supposedly focused on individual rights, the “little guy,” and distrust of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.

The Left, often on spec, blasted the wealthy, whether the “lucre” was self-made or inherited. The old-money rich were lampooned as idle drones.

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Commentary: Attend a School Board Meeting

If you want to know, up close and personal, the banality of evil, attend a school board meeting. With critical race theory and forced vaccination and masking all the rage, I did just that last night.

This board meeting wasn’t my first. When I was a kid, my dad ran for school board and won after a terrible teacher (a feel-good hippie) allowed one of my classmates to steal my work all year and put his name on it. Said teacher taught us second-graders macramé and little else. My family had moved from a high-performing school district to this less-than-stellar place. For about three years, I learned nothing new. My parents were incensed. So my dad ran for board treasurer, got elected, and promptly pissed everyone off.

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Commentary: White House Collusion with Facebook Is Not About Public Health

Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed that the Biden administration will partner with Facebook and other social media platforms to surveil COVID-related posts. They plan to flag and censor people whom the administration considers to be purveyors of COVID “disinformation” or “misinformation.”

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Commentary: America Needs to Take China’s Military Threats Seriously

Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

During his presidency, Barack Obama, in his infinite wisdom, liked to tell us that wars are passé and publicly chided Russia’s Vladimir Putin for acting like a relic of the 20th century. Privately, Obama seems to have been aware of the extremely dangerous situations he helped create in Iran, Syria, Russia, and China, and told Trump during their 2016 transition talks that war was likely with North Korea.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Misery Index Rises

Biden Misery Index

This column is becoming a weekly checklist on the descent of American public policy and attitudes further into the depths of frivolity, chaos, and national self-dislike. I was honored to make a small contribution last week to the edition of this website celebrating its fifth anniversary. In the editors’ statement on that anniversary, they renewed their hostility to the ineptitude and moral decrepitude of the bipartisan ruling class, their “opposition to the unaccountable administrative state,” their dislike of an American oligarchy, particularly the “Big Tech monopoly to suppress disagreement,” and their contempt for “pernicious utopian ideologies.” It is a privilege to be associated with such opinions.

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Commentary: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journalism Professors Protest ‘Objectivity’ in News Reporting

Carroll Hall UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Journalism professors at UNC Chapel Hill are protesting a “core values” statement that upholds objectivity as a key tenet of news reporting.

Faculty members of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media converged last week to bemoan a statement of values that’s etched in granite and is found in the lobby of their school.

The core values statement, installed two years ago, touts objectivity, impartiality, integrity and truth-seeking, and after their kvetching session that statement was reportedly scrapped from the school’s website, the News & Observer reports.

In 2019, Walter Hussman, a UNC alumnus and owner of a media conglomerate of newspapers and other media outlets, donated $25 million to the UNC journalism school. Part of the donation contract installed those values into the school’s wall and mission, according to UNC’s website.

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Commentary: Why Are Defense Department Schools Transitioning Students’ Gender Behind Parents’ Backs?

DODEA Schools Transgenderism

Our men and women in uniform are prepared to lay their lives on the line every day to uphold the Constitution and protect the nation from enemies who would do us harm, but what many service members may not realize is that a personal threat to their families exists much closer to home.

As parental outrage with “progressive” curriculums—for example, comprehensive sex education, gender identity, and “anti-racist” programs—sweeps across the country, military parents have good reasons to be up in arms.

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Commentary: The Cuban Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Cuban Flag on Pole

Citizens charged their government with repression. The rebuttal came via a truncheon. Some people miss their own irony.

The Cuban government killed one protester, roughed up cameramen for the Associated Press, abducted citizens from their homes, and shut down the internet in response to demonstrations that erupted last weekend. “The order to fight has been given,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced. “Into the street, revolutionaries!”

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Commentary: Incommensurability in 2021 American Politics

American Flag at US Capitol

The ubiquitous term “paradigm” and the concept of “paradigm shifts,” were popularized by the historian and philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. He used them to characterize, roughly, a scientific theory’s fundamental elements and the changes in fundamental elements that occur with scientific revolutions and changes in theory.

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Commentary: Despite What Biden Says, Guns Factor in Only a Small Percentage of Violent Crimes

Police Car

In response to sharp increases in violent crime, President Biden stressed again last week that his administration is focused on “stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes.”  But critics warn that this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – about 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.

Although firearms were used in about 74% of homicides in 2019, they comprise less than 9% of violent crimes in America.

The vast majority of violent offenses – including robberies, rapes and other sex crimes – almost always involve other weapons or no weapons at all.

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Commentary: Critical Race Enthusiasts Should Learn the Lesson of ‘Defund the Police’

Crowd of people in the streets, protesting and Black Lives Matter movement

A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.

Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).

What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.  

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Commentary: Confronting Teacher Union Twaddle

Randi Weingarten at AFGE

Randi Weingarten, the gaffe-prone president of the American Federation of Teachers has outdone herself, and that isn’t easy. In a series of seven open letters over the years, I have playfully chided the union boss about her trove of inane and bizarre musings. But now she has jumped the proverbial shark.

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Commentary: Income Inequality in America Related to Deaths

Holding Hands

The top quarter of American income earners can expect to live a decade longer than the bottom quarter, medical research shows. This health disparity seems downright cruel. Not only do those in poverty have to pay more for things like credit and insurance, they also pay more years to the Grim Reaper.

Unlike income inequality, transferring years of life from the rich to the poor is not a feasible option. To find a real solution, we must know what drives the inequity.

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Commentary: The National Security Agency and Tucker Carlson Controversy

Tucker Carlson vs. NSA

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s charge that the National Security Agency illegally spied on him and leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought “to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American,” declared MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectively claiming that “I’m not a crazy person overstating a case!”

When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?

The Carlson controversy cannot be understood outside the context of perennial NSA abuses. The NSA possesses a “repository capable of taking in 20 billion ‘record events’ daily and making them available to NSA analysts within 60 minutes,” the New York Times reported. The NSA is able to snare and stockpile many orders of magnitude times more information than did East Germany’s Stasi secret police, one of the most odious agencies of the post-war era.

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Commentary: One State Can Make a Difference

Farmer on a tractor, tilling field

Late last month, Montana ended its participation in the extended federal unemployment benefits program. No surprise this event was little noted in the national press, since Montana’s decision to exit the program had a direct effect on fewer than 20,000 people (the total unemployed population of Montana). Yet Montana’s decision had an enormous effect on the country as a whole.

Particularly for those inside the Beltway, it is easy to focus on Washington, D.C. as the only place where policymaking matters. And with an administration desperate to centralize power as it prints ever-growing piles of money with which it hopes to bribe or threaten states and localities, such an attitude is understandable. Recent developments in states like Montana far outside the beltway, however, show how national political innovations can be driven by states with smaller populations far from the beltway swamp and present conservatives with a path for political success. 

While elections in Montana often are driven by local and idiosyncratic issues as well as personal relationships (understandable in a state with some of America’s least populated state house and senate districts), Montana is and has long been a very red state. The only Democratic presidential candidate since 1948 to win a majority here was Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 landslide win over Barry Goldwater. It is much easier to convince and move 1 million people in Montana than 332 million Americans. And yet by moving 1 million Montanans (or 800,000 South Dakotans) or 1.8 million Idahoans, the Right can often exercise an outsized influence on the national debate. 

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Commentary: The Agenda Worse Than Critical Race Theory

BLM Protest in Denver

Few notice what is taught in school until it is too late. Today’s push for Critical Race Theory (CRT) is extraordinarily ambitious, and it is hard for defenders of traditional education to imagine anything more toxic than this theory that has seemingly burst on the scene.

But, as bad as it may seem, CRT is not thene plus ultra of pernicious radical ideology. It can get worse, and it is delusional to believe that just because a given idea is incredibly stupid and destructive, it is therefore impossible for something worse to come along. If that were true, today’s PC madness would have died out decades ago.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Mind of a Writer

Macbook pro with cup of black coffee and notepad next to it

The late Kurt Vonnegut had a simple yet profound approach to writing. “When I write,” he said, “I simply become what I seemingly must become.”

Stephen Hunter, another great American writer, has a similar approach to his craft today. His process isn’t so much about writing prose or creating plot or conducting research. What really matters, he says, is that the book becomes your life, always either on your mind or in your subconscious.

As Hunter explained to me this week on my podcast, “Newt’s World,” writing has become a part of his normal life, like brushing his teeth.

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Commentary: Florida Woman Received a $100,000 Fine for Parking on Her Own Property

Car Tire In Driveway

There’s nothing worse than when you’re having a bad day and come back to your car to find a parking ticket on your windshield. Except, maybe, if that ticket was for $100,000, and you got it for parking on your own property.

That’s what happened to Sandy Martinez, a resident of Lantana, Florida. Teaming up with attorneys at the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice (IJ), she is suing the town over a parking violation fine assigned to her that totaled more than $100,000.

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Commentary: Inflation Has Arrived

Wildly excessive federal spending is causing major inflation and shortages, which may lead to a recession and perhaps a financial crisis. Despite the evidence of inflation, Congress is proposing to spend $3.5 trillion on top of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed earlier this year and the intended $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. For comparison, federal revenue is only expected to be $3.8 trillion this year.

Evidently, the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden have adopted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to the peril of every American citizen. MMT, which is similar to Keynesian economics, says that the U.S. should not be constrained by revenues in federal government spending since the government is the monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar. MMT is a destructive myth that provides cover for excessive government spending. And it’s not modern, since reckless government spending has been around for thousands of years.

Embracing MMT is similar to providing whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. We know the outcomes will not be good.

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Commentary: The Capitol Cover Up

United States Capitol at night

Judge G. Michael Harvey sounded floored.

During a detention hearing this week for Robert Morss, arrested last month for his involvement in the Capitol protest, a federal prosecutor told Harvey she needed permission from the government before she could turn over to him a slice of video related to Morss’ case. Joe Biden’s Justice Department continues to seek pre-trial detention for people who protested Biden’s election on January 6; prosecutors want to keep Morss, an Army ranger and high school history teacher with no criminal record, behind bars until his trial can begin next year.

But assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jackson hesitated when Judge Harvey asked to see the footage captured by the U.S. Capitol Police surveillance system cited as evidence in government charging documents.

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Commentary: The Dictatorial Democrats – Using the Rhetoric of Democracy to Subvert It

Those who prattle on about democracy the most support it the least. “In America, if you lose, you accept the results,” said Joe Biden on Tuesday. Meanwhile, his fellow Democrats were conducting an undemocratic stunt to thwart the people’s will in Texas.

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Commentary: The Macro Subjectivity of ‘Microaggression’ Studies

Micro-Aggression

Ever since the most blatant forms of racism and discrimination in America faded, what are called microaggressions have, in the view of leftist academics and social justice activists, taken their place. These are “a form of racism,”  the slights and insults that, though subtle and small and typically unconscious, are insulting and harmful to their targets.

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Commentary: The Fight for Freedom in Cuba

2021 Cuban government protest in Naples Florida

Thousands of demonstrators in more than 40 cities and towns throughout Cuba have taken to the streets to protest 62 years of oppression.  In a communist country that suppresses dissent, the recent wave of protests is the most significant grassroots stand against the dictatorship in more than three decades. 

Since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Cuban people have lived under the oppressive rule of the Castro dictatorship.  Upon Raúl Castro’s recent retirement, his handpicked successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel seized control of the Communist Party, Cuba’s only legal political party, and the presidency, in an election that was neither competitive, free, nor fair.

As the communist regime attempts to deflect blame for the state of unrest, basic goods and services are in short supply. The fact is Cuba is suffering from a severe economic crisis.  Food is scarce, the health care system is overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and electricity outages are a regular occurrence.

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Commentary: ‘Class’ – the Word We Dare Not Speak

How often during the last year of woke, have middle- and lower-class Americans listened to multimillionaires of all races and genders lecture them on their various pathologies and oppressions?

Million-dollar-a year university presidents virtue signal on the cheap their own sort of “unearned white privilege.”

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Commentary: Research Used to Justify California’s ‘Equity’ Math Doesn’t Add Up

Black Pen on Equations

The push to create “equity” and more “social justice” in public schools in America’s largest state rests on this basic premise: “We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” declares the current draft of the California Math Framework, which also states that it rejects “the cult of genius.”

Informed by that fundamental idea, the 800-page Framework calls for the elimination of accelerated classes and gifted programs for high-achieving students until at least the 11th grade.

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Commentary: Unions’ Focus on Woke over Work Rankles Rank and File

Los Angeles school teacher Glenn Laird has been a union stalwart for almost four decades. He served as a co-chair of his school’s delegation to United Teachers Los Angeles and proudly wore union purple on the picket line.

But Laird is now suing to leave UTLA and demanding a refund of the dues the union has collected since his resignation request. His turning point came in July 2020 when the union, the second largest teachers union in the country, joined liberal activists to demand that Los Angeles defund the police in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

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Commentary: Conservatives Shouldn’t Accept the Idea of ‘Systemic Racism’

Black Lives Matter protest

The official “Conservative Case Against Banning Critical Race Theory” appeared in the New York Times last week. Penned by a progressive Yale professor, two non-progressives, and the allegedly conservative David French, the article claims state efforts to ban CRT undermine a good, free-thinking education. Others have dissected this silly claim in detail, so it’s not worth rehashing all of that here. What readers should take away from the Times op-ed is an increasing willingness among respectable conservatives to grant the idea of “systemic racism.” They believe there is nothing wrong with accepting this core tenet of modern liberalism and that it’s absolutely true. 

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Commentary: The Democrats’ Topsy-Turvy Spin Machine

Joe Biden talking to staff members

The guessing game of how long the levitation of the Biden presidency can be taken seriously seems to be entering a new phase. The deluge of illegal entries into the United States at the southern border is now running at a rate of closer to 3 million than 2 million a year and yet we still see and hear the bobbling talking head of the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas assuring us, “The southern border is closed.” 

The media has provided almost no coverage of this calamitous invasion. A recent Trafalgar poll found that 56 percent of Americans don’t think Joe Biden is “fully executing the duties of his office,” yet the docile White House press corps continues to ask him about his ice cream and other such probing questions of national interest. Apart from a rising stock market and a quieter atmosphere, the record of the new administration is one of almost complete failure. 

The oceanic influx of unskilled labor at the southern border cannot fail to aggravate unemployment and depress the incomes for the vulnerable sectors of what, under President Trump, was a fully employed workforce. The administration has reduced domestic oil production and squandered the country’s status as an energy self-sufficient state. These are all familiar issues to those who follow public affairs, but the 95 percent Democratic-supporting media preserve the cocoon of a fairyland Biden presidency, whose bumbling chief flatters himself with comparisons to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Commentary: An Inside Look at Lockdown Orders from 2020

Person putting hands on glass, inside of home

Life in the United States and in many parts of the world was transformed in mid-March 2020. That was when the great experiment began. It was a test. How much power does government have to rule nearly the whole of life? To what extent can all the power of the state be mobilized to take away rights that people had previously supposed were protected by law? How many restrictions on freedom would people put up with without a revolt?

It was also a test of executive and bureaucratic power: can these dramatic decisions be made by just a handful of people, independent of all our slogans about representative democracy?

We are far from coming to terms with any of these questions. They are hardly being discussed. The one takeaway from the storm that swept through our country and the world in those days is that anything is possible. Unless something dramatic is done, like some firm limits on what governments can do, they will try again, under the pretext of public health or something else. 

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Commentary: FBI Caught Lying About ‘Lego Man’ Charged in January 6 Capitol Breach

Robert Morss

The Department of Justice now says a DoJ court document claiming to have  recovered a “fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set” from the home of a man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach was “a miscommunication,” and the Lego set was actually unconstructed and in a box. Robert Morss, 27, is accused of leading fellow rioters in what prosecutors say was “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” with officers on Jan. 6.

The new court filing said, “In original detention memoranda, the undersigned stated that law enforcement found a ‘fully constructed US Capitol Lego set.’ That statement appears to be inaccurate. The Lego set was in a box and not fully constructed at the time of the search.”

Once again, the Justice Department has had to admit that they lied about events surrounding January 6th. While the Lego lie may seem silly, it is part of a pattern that federal law enforcement has demonstrated in this case, and indeed over the past five years.

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Commentary: The Obamas’ Aggressively Political Netflix Show

Screenshot from Obama's Political Netflix show

No, Higher Ground isn’t where the Obamas plan to move to from their beachfront Martha’s Vineyard mansion when they flee the rising ocean levels caused by climate change. It’s the name of their production company, which in May 2018 inked a “high eight-figure” production deal with Netflix to go along with their $65 million contract with Viking Press to write their memoirs. Announcing the Netflix partnership, the former president promised that “these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.” (That’s what Oprah always says, too, about her own noble but inert efforts as producer.)

Anyway, a year after their big announcement, the Obamas — apparently not wanting to rush too precipitously into anything — finally made public their first slate of Netflix projects. One is a biopic of Frederick Douglass. (That topic took a year to come up with?) Others include Bloom, a drama series about the “barriers faced by women and by people of color” in New York’s post-war fashion business, and Fifth Risk, a documentary series about “everyday heroes” in government. (Can I write the one on Maxine Waters?)

But the project we’re here to talk about is the just-released We the People. It’s a series of 10 civics lessons for kids, each in the form of a four- or five-minute piece of animation. (Somehow, the word “cartoon” seems inappropriate, given that this show is almost entirely lacking in humor.) Nine of the 10 episodes are music videos featuring original songs performed by some of the biggest names in the music business today. (I know that they’re some of the biggest names in the music business today because I’ve only ever heard of two of them.) The 10th features a poem. Perhaps needless to say, all of these videos exhibit the hyper-Benetton-ad-level diversity — e.g., hijabs galore, and more people in wheelchairs than you’ll ever see in real life — that is de rigueur everywhere in the entertainment industry nowadays.

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Commentary: Leading the Charge Against Critical Race Theory

Young boy reading a book

Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.

The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.

In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color.

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Commentary:The Massive Pushback Brewing Against the Progressive Left Could Dwarf the Tea Party Sea Change of 2010

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Victimizers quickly becoming victims is a recurrent theme of Thucydides’ history. In his commentary on the so-called stasis at Corcyra, he offers his most explicit warning about the long-term dangers of destroying legal institutions, customs, and traditions that serve the common good for short-term gain. 

The historian notes that in the inevitable yin and yang of politics, the destroyers inevitably will seek, but do so in vain, refuge in what they have destroyed. Between 2017 and 2021 the Left has done exactly that. 

What was common to the media’s deification of the criminally minded Michael Avenatti, and the promotion of a series of abject hoaxes? Do we remember the Steele “dossier,” the supposed authority of Fusion-GPS, the Schiff “report,” and the entire Russian “collusion” yarn? 

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Commentary: The Battle Against Big Tech Is an Existential Fight for Conservatives

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

For Big Tech billionaires, these are the best of times, and the worst of times.

Why the best? Because the long arm of social media and online commerce has never reached further and deeper into Americans’ culture, spending habits, lifestyles, and worldview. Likewise, the net worth of these billionaires has risen to undreamed-of heights. COVID was, for tech barons, a blessing in disguise: it trapped Americans indoors, where they could do little else but browse the web, consume digital entertainment, and spend their stimulus dollars on imported Chinese doohickeys. Even as the dreaded virus has retreated, Big Tech has successfully locked in its gains.

Why the worst of times, though? The very rise of Big Tech has portended greater scrutiny. The debasement of Big Tech’s competitors and natural enemies—from brick-and-mortar stores to Trump supporters—has ensured that the drumbeat of criticism of social media companies and online retailers has never been more stridently percussive. 

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Commentary: Florida’s DeSantis Is America’s Great Right Hope

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Democratic Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan shatter everything they touch. Ron DeSantis, conversely, seems to get everything right. The Florida Republican has emerged as America’s governor. 

“We’re standing with our folks. We’re going to do the right thing. We leaned into it, and we stood strong,” DeSantis told Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently.

Rather than snip a tax, kill a regulation, and then doze off, as too many Republicans have done, DeSantis is a tireless, full-spectrum conservative. He has authorized a host of economic, cultural, and law enforcement initiatives that are buoying Florida and transforming him into the Great Right Hope.

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Commentary: Biden’s Domestic Terrorism Strategy Has Roots in Clinton Years

The “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” released last month by the National Security Council, claims to take a “narrowly tailored” approach. Something along those lines is indeed evident throughout the document.

In 2016, readers learn, “an anti–authority violent extremist ambushed, shot, and killed five police officers in Dallas.” The national strategy document does not identify the killer, Micah Johnson, an African American veteran who hated cops. Johnson actually shot a dozen officers but managed to kill only five, and he had bomb-making materials in his home. This killer only opposes “authority” and his murder victims remain unidentified in the NSC document.

In 2017, according to the National Strategy “a lone gunman wounded four people at a congressional baseball practice.” Readers are not told this was James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Republicans and targeted them for assassination. That should easily qualify as domestic terrorism but here Hodgkinson is only a “gunman.” The National Strategy does not reveal that the “wounded” included Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.), who barely escaped with his life. The NSC document fails to mention that Hodkinson also shot Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, an African American.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Overcoming Defeat and Denial in Afghanistan

With each passing day in Afghanistan the Taliban grows stronger, and the pro-American government forces grow weaker.  Anecdotally, you can see the momentum building in the news coverage.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, which has been tracking war in Afghanistan for years, estimates that as of Sunday the Taliban controlled 213 districts. It reports that the government controls 70 districts, and some 115 districts are being contested. Thus, after the United States, NATO, and our Afghan allies spent 20 years fighting to create a post-Taliban country, the evidence is growing that we have lost.

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Commentary: The Founding Elite vs. The Current Elite

Close-up of Mt. Rushmore

In an insightful Independence Day Twitter thread, Emily Zanotti expressed her partiality for this provision of the Declaration of Independence:

[T]his is my favorite part: ‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ Can you imagine writing that? Signing your name to that? Acknowledging that this document means you will come out of this broke, dead, and remembered as a traitor if you do not win. Signing your own death warrant. Man, that took balls . . . 

In recognizing and celebrating the signatories’ fortitude, Zanotti illuminated the stark contrast between the visions of America’s founding elite and its current elite.

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Commentary: Don’t Force My Church to Pay for Abortions

Baby hand in adult hand

Imagine, 75 years ago, some British officer lining up a group of young Indian children against a wall in Bombay, handing some bullets to Mahatma Gandhi, and ordering him to load soldiers’ rifles so that they could execute the youngsters.

Would you expect Gandhi to go along with that? Why would an officer even give such an order – except to humiliate Gandhi and mock what he stood for?

Perhaps that gives you some idea of how it feels for the people of my congregation, Cedar Park Church, to be ordered by Washington state officials to provide an insurance plan that covers abortions. Directly paying for abortion coverage is as unimaginable to us as putting bullets in a gun we know would be used to end a child’s life. It is antithetical to everything we preach, teach, and believe. That’s why we had to file a lawsuit through our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys that is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear arguments today.

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Commentary: The Intelligence of Canines

Dog lying on magazine with glasses on

Albert Einstein. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marie Curie. Gaia. The first person came up with the general theory of relativity. The second is regarded as perhaps the greatest classical composer of all time. The third is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. The fourth isn’t a person at all; it’s a dog.

All might be considered geniuses.

Some individuals are supremely gifted, with abilities that the vast majority of people cannot hope to replicate even after years of dedicated practice – the adolescents who are chess grandmasters, the musicians with perfect pitch, the professional athletes who make their colleagues look like amateurs. Scientists have been studying these people for decades, hoping to uncover genetic, environmental, or social underpinnings for their talents. Researchers have yet to find satisfactory answers.

Which brings us to dogs.

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Commentary: Biden Is Unfit to Be President — And the Media Is Unfit to Cover Him

Joe Biden

Joe Biden is not mentally or physically fit to be president of the United States. This has been obvious to anyone with eyes or ears for the entirety of his presidency. Acknowledging this simple fact should not be a partisan issue. Regardless of policy disputes, Republicans and Democrats alike should want the leader of the free world to exhibit strength, power, and reassurance on both the national and the world stage. But Biden is merely a figurehead. He is a facsimile of a leader in an office that normally demands sharpness, stamina, and clear-headedness.

No honest assessment can conclude that Biden’s public appearances present a man who is in control of his faculties or who looks sharp and confident. On the contrary, he looks frail, weak, indecisive, unsure of himself, and unsteady. When he speaks, he often says things that simply don’t make sense, even as he almost exclusively reads from a teleprompter or uses notecards. He has repeatedly said that if he takes unscripted questions from the press, he’s “gonna get in trouble” from his staff.

Yet those who do not follow politics closely or ignore conservative outlets could be forgiven for thinking that Biden is fully capable, thanks to the corrupt Fourth Estate that has refused to accurately cover Biden’s ever-increasing list of embarrassing moments.

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Commentary: Secure Law and Order in America

Over July Fourth weekend, according to CNN, at least 233 people were killed and 618 others were injured in more than 500 shootings across the country. Unbelievably, those tragic statistics actually represent a 26 percent decrease from July Fourth weekend in 2020. But overall, violent crime in 2021 across the nation—and especially in major urban corridors—has only increased over 2020’s horrific baseline. Nationwide murder rates in 2021 to date show a roughly 25 percent annual increase over 2020, and that number spikes to roughly 30 percent in our large cities. In New York City, there has been a 32 percent year-to-date increase in rape and a 42 percent increase in grand larceny.

Increasingly, Americans do not need to look very far to experience the horrific violence in an up-close and personal manner. Last week, for instance, a 22-year-old University of Chicago student was senselessly killed by what appeared to be a stray bullet while riding the subway system near the university’s Hyde Park campus. As a University of Chicago alum and former Hyde Park resident, that could have very easily been me. But such heartbreaks are not limited to the city of Chicago, America’s murder capital. All across the nation, “could have easily been me” is becoming commonplace, as Americans survey the carnage and destruction all around them.

The extended escalation in violent crime in America began in earnest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s unfortunate death. Black Lives Matter, an avowedly Marxist organization despite its anodyne-sounding name, immediately latched onto the post-Floyd national racial reckoning and instrumentalized it for its own agenda. Together with Antifa and various left-wing anarchist groups, BLM helped orchestrate a summer of riotous mayhem and bloodshed like the country had not seen in decades. Major cities were hit the worst, but even distant suburbs such as Kenosha, Wisconsin, were not spared the BLM-antifa warpath.

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Commentary: Wally Funk’s Lifelong Journey to the Stars

Plane flying in the sky

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk always wanted to fly.  She had her first flying lesson when she was nine years old and grew up making wooden planes, building treehouses, riding horses, biking, hunting, and fishing.  As a young girl growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Wally recalls, “I did everything that people didn’t expect a girl to do.”   

Wally’s curiosity and love of flying, however, would ultimately shape the rest of her life.  She obtained her flying license at Stephens College when she was in her teens, then joined the “Flying Aggies” aviation team at Oklahoma State University, where she earned a degree in education.  Wally then got her first job at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where she was the only female flight instructor.

At the height of the Space Race, in 1961, when she was just 22 years old, Wally became infatuated with the idea of taking her passion for flying to the next level, as an astronaut in space.  

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Commentary: What Americans Lost When We Abandoned the Secret Ballot

Person putting mail-in ballot in ballot return box

My father likes to say that the secret ballot means that he doesn’t have to listen when I tell him how I voted. This joke conceals a serious point: Ballot secrecy is not just a right of the individual but also a guarantee to all that my vote was not wrung from me by bribery or intimidation.

Out of a desire to make voting “easier” and perhaps exaggerated fears of public gatherings during the pandemic, most U.S. jurisdictions permitted unrestricted mail-in balloting in 2020. What did Americans lose when ballot secrecy was attenuated or vanished altogether?

Make no mistake, ballot secrecy is incompatible with secure mail-in balloting. At the polls, we each go into a little booth and make our choices in private. By contrast, no one knows where a mail-in ballot was filled out, or if a party or union activist hovered over the voter or even filled in the circles. Nobody knows what inducements, whether cash or threats, were offered to ensure that the person voted “correctly.” And if the ballot was “harvested” – turned in to the vote-counters by activists instead of by voters themselves – our suspicions deepen.

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Commentary: Naming the Capitol Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed January 6 Rioter Ashli Babbitt

US Capitol Police at The Supreme Court

Most police departments — including Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police — are required to release an officer’s name within days of a fatal shooting. Not the U.S. Capitol Police, which is controlled by Congress and answers only to Congress. It can keep the public in the dark about the identity and investigation of an officer involved in a shooting indefinitely.

Which is what happened with the Jan. 6 shooting of Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed protester in the U.S. Capitol riot who was fatally wounded by a plainclothes police lieutenant as she attempted to breach a set of doors inside the building. 

For the past six months, as Congress has proposed legislation to reform  police departments across the country, the Capitol Police has stiff-armed government watchdogs, journalists and even lawyers for Babbitt, who have sought the identity of the officer and additional details about the shooting. The USCP still refuses to release his name, in stark contrast to recent high-profile police shootings around the nation.

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Commentary: A Warning About Joe Biden’s Power Plan

Joe Biden

With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.

Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths.
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.

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Commentary: Republicans Troll Themselves into Accepting the Left’s War on Our Heritage

The House of Representatives voted last week to remove all Confederate-related statues from public view. Only 120 lawmakers—all Republicans—voted against the measure. One defender of the move was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). He said it was a good idea because all the banished figures were Democrats.

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Commentary: ‘The Truth’ vs. Objectivity in American Journalism Today

Lately, the local ABC News affiliate in Washington, D.C., has been running promotional spots with the well-worn tagline “speaking truth to power.” That is an odd slogan for a media outlet that can certainly be counted among the powerful in the region. It also raises a question as to whether this local news department has truly discovered “the truth” and is devoting its broadcasts to sharing it with its viewers.  

At least implicit in the use of the slogan is a recognition by the station that truth does indeed exist. Sadly, many in American journalism are increasingly denying the existence of objective truth and calling for an end of objectivity in journalism. As Stanford University communications professor emeritus Ted Glasser said recently, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”  In other words, the task of a journalist is to push the progressive narrative forward, truth and objectivity be damned. 

Glasser isn’t alone. Recently, in a speech at Washington State University, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt also questioned the value of objectivity. “I think it’s become clearer that fairness is overrated,” he said. “The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.”  

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